Whiplash is a serious injury that usually results from a rear end collision in a car. The head and neck are forced into hyperextension upon impact with stresses the anterior muscles and ligaments of the cervical spine. The head then recoils into hyperflexion which compacts anterior tissues and stresses posterior tissues. This results in neck pain, muscle tightness, muscle spasms, and a reduction in cervical spine range of motion. Car safety steps should be taken by the driver in order to reduce the chances of whiplash injuries. Seat belts are very important and should be worn at all times. Seat belts should be properly used with lap and shoulder restraints in the proper position. Ssteering wheel and door air bags help to reduce the chances of injury and should be employed when available. Steering wheel air bags guard against head trauma with the wheel, dashboard, and windshield while door air bags guard against head trauma with the window and door frame. The driver’s seat should be in a normal resting position and should be at almost 90 degrees. If the seat is too close to the wheel it can cause severe injury from the deployment of the air bag and increases the risk of head trauma from hitting the windshield. It also increases the chance of knee and hip injury from the impact of the knee into the dashboard. This can cause fracture of the femur, hip, and more commonly the acetabulum within the joint when the leg is jammed back into the joint space. If the seat is leaned too far back it can cause increase whiplash injuries because the seat belt will not be positioned correctly and can lead to a launching effect of the body. if it is tilted too far forward it again increase the chance of head injury from hitting the wheel, dashboard, or windshield. The head piece on the car seat should be elevated so that the back of the skull hits in the middle of the cushioning. If the head piece is too low then the head can hyperextend over the top of the head rest upon the initial rear collision and cause increased injury and even dislocation.
Chiropractors treat whiplash injuries using a combination of stretching, massage, chiropractic adjustments, and physical therapy modalities including ultrasound, electric muscle stimulation, and traction. The chiropractors at Dolan Family Chiropractic in Aurora, IL are trained specialists at evaluating and treating whiplash and other motor vehicle accident injuries. If you have any question please call the office at 630-236-3090 to speak with one of the doctors or for more information on how chiropractic can help whiplash visit our website at www.Dolanchiro.com.